The Colour Genie was the heavily modified offspring of the EACA Video Genie.
It had 16 colours and was mounted with a CRTC display IC as well as a General Instruments AY-3-8910 PSG. Later revisions had modified colours, screen size as well as various expansions and an updated BASIC ROM.
The Colour Genie was marketed in Europe (UK/Germany) and also in New Zealand and Australia.
The current version of Genieous supports the unexpanded Colour Genie.
What Is Genieous?
Genieous is an emulator. It imitates the behaviour of a Colour Genie on the 32-bit Windows platform (natively).
Although two very good Colour Genie emulators exist, they are made to run under MS-DOS, are outdated and no longer maintained.
Genieous is freeware, and may be distributed freely if unaltered, and the copyright notice is retained. As a consequence, the author takes no responsibilities whatsoever for any damage caused by this emulator.
In short: Use it at your own risk!
Genieous aims to exploit the benefits of a graphical user interface with features such as drag'n'drop, intuitive menus etc.
Full and cycle exact Z80 CPU core with NMI interrupt (RESET)
Partial CRTC 6545 emulation
Support for 16 and 32 kb memory setups
3 channel AY-3-8910 PSG emulation along with the noise and envelope
Full keyboard emulation, with optional symbolic mapping
Read/write support for the CAS tape format
Read/write support for tape WAV format
Genieous Missing Features
I/O port on the YM2149/AY-3-8190 sound board is not emulated (printer & joystick)
The CRTC emulation is incomplete
Disk emulation is broken
To run this program, you require, at a minimum, Windows 95.
No installation is necessary, just copy the contents of the ZIP package
to a new folder and click on the executable called "Geneious.exe".
The simplest way to get programs started is with drag 'n drop or via
the File->Autostart menu option. When drag 'n dropping a disk image file,
keeping the Ctrl key down will reboot the emulated machine.
For now, only a few command line switches are supported:
suppress autostart of CAS and CMD images
enable double scan of screen lines
disables sound at startup (by default it's on)
insert disk image on startup into drive:0
specify model (1, 2 or 3)
run the emulator with the maximum speed possible
The program has a simple built-in monitor/disassembler. By pressing
ESC[-APE] can this be entered. On pressing this button again, one
can return to the emulated machine. Further keyboard shortcuts:
Disassembly list from the actual value of the IP. On top of the page, the current state of the CPU is shown.
Memory map of the emulated machine
Set breakpoint at actual position
Run until here (if possible within a given amount of cycles)
Step one assembly instruction
One page up in the list
One page down in the list
One row upwards in the list
One row downwards in the list
Although the WD1771 disk controller emulation is available, the images
do not appear to work. Only a couple of CGD images show a directory
with the CMD"I" command.
This was the most widespread and thus most important peripheral of
the Colour Genie.
Two major formats exist for tape emulation: CAS and WAV.
Both are read-/writeable.
This format can be used if one would like to transfer a program to
the real machine. The result can be then played back via the sound
output of the PC to a tape and reloaded on the real machine.
For creating such WAV, one has to first choose 'Create WAV' from the
Tape menu, press PLAY/RECORD by selecting the appropriate menu point from
the Tape menu and issuing the necessary commands in the emulated machine
(for example: CSAVE"NAME"). The saving process is done realtime (=slow)
but the process can be accelerated by pressing ALT+F3 that gives full
CPU power to the emulator on your machine. It is important that once the
save command has finished the tape must be stopped (via the Tape menu, by
ticking PLAY/RECORD off) and the WAV should be closed (very important!).
The Colour Genie used a 1200 baud tape recording frequency.
A quicker and more efficient format, widespread in the TRS-80 world as well. It
is a literal byte-exact representation of what is written to a real tape
on a real Colour Genie. It is only slightly different from the
Saving/loading of CAS files is done via ROM traps and hence it is
not supporting custom loaders, but in return it is much quicker. Most
load and save operations finish in a snap. BASIC programs can be saved
with the CSAVE"NAME" command, in this case a pop-up window will appear where
you must fill in the name and location of the desired CAS image.
Saving a given memory location in CAS format is also possible via the file
menu. Here you must fill in the begin and the end of the memory area that is
about to be saved along with the start address which defaults to 0066h which
is the NMI entry point (soft RESET).
Converting Colour Genie Cassettes To CAS Files
A number of tools exist which will allow emulator files to be created from
original Colour Genie cassettes. The most important of these is CASSLOAD.EXE which is listed under "Colour Genie Conversion Tools" on www.everygamegoing.com.
The emulator comes with support for the disk expanstion ROM. You can enable it via the machine setup dialog window by selecting 'custom machine configuration'.
I'd like to thank these people their help: info, testing, being nice, etc. :-)
Better CRTC vblank
Realtime saturation setting
PC-joystick and gamepad support
Centronics printer support (output sent to printer.txt)
Adjustable colour display saturation
Re-enabled basic breakpoint support in the external monitor
Compiled statically against the Visual C++ runtime
Custom Z80 CPU frequencies (between 500000 and 10 mln Hz)
Added original German character set
Improved and optimized display emulation
First public release
Ability to use custom ROMs
AY-3-8190 (YM2149) sound emulation
CAS tape format support (R/W)
WAV tape format support (R/W)
Save screenshot in GIF format (when non 1-bit display)
TV interlace/double scan
Save emulator output to AVI video
Large window mode
Full screen mode
Paste text from the clipboard
Copy screen buffer to the clipboard
Settings saved in the registry
Drag'n drop support
Support for command line options
Autostart emulator images (great for novice users)
Simulated keyboard input from external text files (BAS/TXT)
Selectable RAM size
Support for Northern and Southern versions of the machine